Can I Sue if I Made a Left Turn?
One of the most asked questions by car crash injury victims involves left turn accidents. Many people believe that the driver who makes a left turn and violates the right-of-way of the oncoming vehicle is at fault and cannot make any claim for damages. In Florida, this is simply not true.
The Miami car accident lawyers at the Wolfson Law Firm have helped many clients get the compensation they deserve after a left turn car accident. First it is important to understand that Florida is a comparative negligence state. That means that each driver can be assigned the degree of fault that the evidence and facts demonstrate. Comparative negligence is often a significant part of the negotiation process in trying to resolve any car accident personal injury case.
At a trial, a jury is presented with the evidence in the form of documents, photographs and testimony. The juries then asked at the end of the case after the judge’s instructions on the law, to decide issues of fault. In a car accident personal injury trial, a jury has basically three options. First is the issue of the defendant’s negligence. If the jury finds the defendant to be negligent then the next question becomes the negligence of the plaintiff. If the jury decides that both parties were negligent to some degree, then it is their job to then decide the percentage of fault attributable to each party.
There is no set formula for deciding percentages of responsibility. A jury could find one driver to be 90% at fault while the other driver is only 10% of fault. Likewise, they could assign 50% responsibility to each party. The only requirement of a jury is that the percentages of fault total 100%.
The jury is also instructed to award the full amount of damages to a plaintiff and they are forbidden from making any reduction on the issue of damages based on their decision on the issue of fault. As an example, if a jury determines the plaintiff’s damages to be $100,000 while finding that the plaintiff was 40% at fault, then the jury would make the award of $100,000. After the trial, the jury is instructed, the court will make any reductions based on the jury’s decision on the issue of negligence. In our example, while the verdict might be for $100,000, the net verdict would be for a total of $60,000.Left Turn Accidents – Who is at Fault?
So how can a driver who makes a left turn in front of an oncoming vehicle and is injured sue for personal injury damages? Every accident must be carefully examined and investigated. Although many car accidents can be similar, there are details that make a difference in determining negligence, liability and fault.
The Miami car accident lawyers at the Wolfson Law Firm have helped left turn drivers make a full and complete financial recovery following an accident. Some of the factors that our car accident attorneys look for during their investigation include:
- Speed of the oncoming car;
- Lane changes when approaching the intersection;
- Failure to use headlights or signals;
- Contributing factors such as lighting, weather or obstructions;
- Traffic signal sequencing;
- Skid marks;
- Property damage;
- Drunk drivers;
- Distracted drivers;
- Uber drivers distracted by the Uber app;
- Lyft drivers distracted by passengers or the Lyft app;
- Investigating law enforcement officer report;
- Mechanical failure of any vehicle;
- History of similar accidents at the same intersection;
- Third party involvement such as pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists
In some car accidents, a qualified and experienced accident reconstruction expert can assist your personal injury attorney on issues such as:
- Reaction time;
- Sight lines;
- Traffic Controls;
- Third party responsibility;
- Mechanical failure;
- Braking issues;
- Environmental contributing factors
Once your car accident attorney and experts have completely examined all the evidence and facts of your accident, then the decision can be made as to whether to proceed forward with making a claim and/or the filing of a lawsuit in Circuit Court. The main thing to remember is that you should not be a silent victim. You and your family deserve to examine all of the facts and evidence of your car accident. Reach out to qualified and experienced professionals who can help you understand what happened and make a proper determination of whether you have a claim that should be pursued.Miami Car Accident Lawyer Helping South Florida Negligence Victims
Since 1963 the Miami car accident attorneys at the Wolfson Law Firm have represented and assisted victims of car accident negligence. Our personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys can help you and your family as well.
We offer no obligation, free and confidential consultations when you call us at (305) 285-1115 or toll free at (855) 982-2067. But you need to take that first step and call us. We can help you get the compensation and justice that you and your family deserve.